Asia shares extend bull run, dollar huddles near lows


File photo: Men walk past an electronic board showing market indices outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan.

SYDNEY – Asian shares extended their bull run on Monday (Jan 29) amid upbeat corporate earnings and strong global economic growth, while the dollar struggled to bounce as the White House continued to complain of “unfair” trade practices by competitors.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.26 percent, aiming for a 12th straight session of gains. It is up 8 percent for the year so far.

Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.1 percent as the yen eased a little, while South Korea notched a record.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has been the best performer for the year so far with a rise of almost 11 percent, while Shanghai blue chips ran into profit-taking on Monday.

Spread betters tipped opening gains for the major European bourses, while E-Minis for the S&P 500 were steady.

Wall Street has likewise been on a tear. Just last week, the Dow rose 2.08 percent, the S&P 500 2.22 percent and the Nasdaq 2.31 percent.

Quarterly earnings growth for the S&P 500 is estimated at 13.2 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data, up from 12 percent at the start of the year. Almost 80 percent of the 133 companies in the index that have reported beat forecasts.

Another 36 percent of the S&P 500 is due to report this week including heavy hitters Apple, Alphabet, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon.